Is anyone here a positive Catholic?

I’m not exactly a happy face person. I am quite cynical, practical and realistic. However, I find the level of negativity about the Catholic Church and about Catholics in general on this forum to be quite high.
Virtually every thread has people expressing concern that

  • the Church is somehow crumbling;
  • the Church leadership (including Pope, bishops, pastors) is at best bumbling and at worst corrupt;
  • not enough people bother to practice their religion or go to Mass;
  • those who do bother to show up to Mass are all committing grave sins in their personal life, receiving Communion unworthily, being “irreverent” when they are at church, and/or are just going through the motions without really living their faith;
  • parishes don’t do enough for new Catholics/ young people/ families/ middle-aged people/ old people/ lonely people/ poor people etc depending on what thread you read;

Etc.

Catholics paint such a miserable picture of the Church that I sometimes think it is only by the grace of the Holy Spirit that anyone would want to join it or remain a member.

I will grant that certain events such as the clergy abuse scandal are definite big black eyes for the Church and should be addressed going forward and should not be swept under the rug. However, as we have discussed on here many times, the vast majority of clergy do not engage in abusive or scandalous behavior, and the leaders coming up are more aware of the problem and seem less likely to repeat the mistakes of the past.

So, with all that in mind, I’m just wondering if anybody here is, on balance, a happy Catholic who feels positive about the Church, is getting something positive out of their faith and also doesn’t have huge criticisms of/ problems with their fellow Catholics. It would seem if one is going to effectively evangelize, a genuinely positive attitude (not a fake happy face, but feeling genuinely good about the organization you’re promoting) would go a long way.

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I feel positive about the Church. Yes, there are a lot of troubles in the Church but I love it no matter what. It is in the Church that I find the Grace of Sacraments, Jesus in the Eucharist and hope for eternity and for my daily life.

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Christ and His church has saved my life. I’ve overcome addictions because of God and I went from unhealthy habits to healthy habits. Through Christ I have grown up and become the person I am today. I have more to work on but I am proud of what God has done for me. I am proud to volunteer at my parish and I enjoy the diocese I live in. Things can get better but overall I’m satisfied.

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Honestly the only thing I’m negative about is my dating life lol.

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I’m a new Catholic and I LOVE being Catholic. I feel very good about the church. I know it is guided by the Holy Spirit. I know it is the one true church. That’s why I’m happy to be Catholic. It is because I know this is God’s church that I could join it at the height of the scandal. Truth is truth no matter what the devil is trying to obscure.

Is there room for improvement? Always. The church is made up of sinners, after all. I’m doing my small part to make a difference in my parish community and to evangelize to my non-Catholic friends and relatives.

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I am a very happy Catholic.
I know that the Church, like any organization is going to have good elements, and not so good ones.

When I see something I am unsure of, I ask questions, then I actually listen to answers. Sometimes I might not be aware of a situation, so I try not to be too judgemental.
The Catholic Church is my home, and like any family, it has its dysfunctions. But it also has Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and his promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail.
That is enough for me. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I’d say I’m reasonably positive on the whole, though I do worry about the future of our Church. To take just two of your five points:

Yes, I fear that it is, but it’s not just the Catholic Church, it’s the Christian religion as a whole. While some churches, such as the Assemblies of God, seem to be bucking the trend, most churches face a troubled future, the Catholic Church among them.

Yes, that’s part of the same trend. Shrinking congregations, the continuing priest shortage, not enough vocations … I don’t know what the Church will look like, or how big it will be, in 2050 or 2100, but I certainly see it as a cause for concern.

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Negative news almost always gets around a lot more than positive news and I think that’s why forums are the way that they are.

In real life my experience with Catholicism is that the attitude is overwhelmingly positive.

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While it’s good to think about what we can do to increase membership, it’s already been predicted that the Church will dwindle to a remnant of what it was, but that God will protect it if/ when that happens, which is not clear that it will be in our lifetimes.

So given that it’s probably going to happen, why worry about it, other than doing what you can to bring more people in? Why not just do the best you can and accept any sort of dwindles as just another test from God?

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I agree with both of these statements, but it gets to be a bit depressing to be on here some days. I think virtually every thread I read yesterday was full of negativity. Even the people planning to join the Church were complaining about the Catholics already in it.

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The negativity on CAF does keep me from posting in, or even viewing most threads, with so many people angry, worried or complaining about our pope, or whichever bishops or priests they disagree with. I am an optimist by nature, hopeful no matter who happens to be in charge of the Church at any given time, but too much pessimism can wear me down, so I just avoid most of the arguments and hand-wringing. Seriously, if I knew someone thinking of joining the Church, I would hesitate in directing them to these forums.

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I have noticed that they are quite critical of society in general, which seems to be offputting for more secular audiences

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From what I have heard, priests have often recommended that people NOT read these forums. I can see why, because not only is there a huge amount of negativity here, there’s also a large number of people - many of whom do not seem to be terribly schooled about Catholicism - passing off their personal opinions as church teaching, even where whatever they’re saying is directly contrary to what someone’s pastor, bishop, or the Pope is saying. Unless you spend a lot of time here, you also don’t have any idea of the background of the posters. I remember threads where some teenage person was giving marital advice to much older adults who came here to ask questions and didn’t realize the responder was an unmarried teen.

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Literally me :laughing: although I usually try to stress that they should not listen to me lol.

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A wise observation that I once remember reading from Dale Carnegie about human nature: “When we’re upset we complain and when we’re happy we say nothing”.

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I would suggest you or anyone who gets depressed or negative after reading this forum to take a break from it. It is a typical social media forum, in my opinion, where you will get a lot of people complaining or venting. I myself see a lot of very positive posts here as well as a lot of negative, the majority of which I ignore. If you can’t take a complete break, check in only once a week and only read the posts with uplifting titles. Post less and only where you can contribute to the positive and uplifting, and don’t get into extended arguments. That’s my advice, by the way, for all social media. It can be destructive in insidious ways and is a huge time waster.

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I realize you meant this as general advice for everybody here. I myself am not depressed and am fully capable of taking forum breaks when necessary; I’ve been off the forum for periods of weeks/ months at least twice before. I also mute many threads and put users on “ignore” all over the place. I also avoid extended arguments as they generally result in warnings from the mods and I already get flagged enough, simply because when one posts a lot on the forum, one draws flags.

With this thread, I’m seeking to have a discussion, in part to balance the amount of negative content on the forum. So the advice to “take a break” or “don’t read negative threads” might work for somebody reading, but isn’t really where I’m going with this thread.

We had a good thread yesterday started by porthos about being a “joyful Catholic” that in part inspired this. His thread was in turn inspired by a previous thread where somebody basically posted that the sky was falling and “we all must pray for the Church!” because that somebody had been to a Charismatic Mass, apparently without doing any sort of research into what goes on at Charismatic Mass, and didn’t like it. I’m thinking maybe a way to answer negativity with positivity is to simply start more positive threads.

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Tis, No matter how many disgruntled CINO’s there may be, they do not disturb me, other than to hope that they might be graced by God to have a deeper faith life. The Mass is so vitally important to me, and I value being able to offer my priestly sacrifice daily for various intentions. It does not phase me an iota what the priest or congregants do or do not. Thanks be to God that I have been gifted with such a positive faith in the liturgy, and I pray nothing will ever shake it.

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I try to be happy and positive, simply because the last thing the church needs right now is to develop a reputation that being Catholic makes you negative or unpleasant.

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Too many neuvo-Protestant Catholics who have built a platform on YouTube. You know why? Because there’s a market for it.

I often think what the click-bait titles for videos would have been if YouTube existed in the 1st Century:

“Idol Worship OK? Paul Praises the Athenians for Being ‘Religious’”
“Peter Eats with Jews: is the Anti-Pope Among Us?”
“Devil’s Work? Apostles Cast Lots to Replace Judas!”
“The Rumors are True: The Real Reason Paul and Barnabas Split Up”

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